Key points from comments:

  1. This was my first Late Answer review of the day.
  2. This was my 3rd or 4th review of the day.
  3. I was suspended for 24 hours for failing a Late Answer review last week (my first ever suspension of any kind on StackOverflow), however since then I'm fairly certain I haven't failed any other audits despite reaching the daily cap for each review type every day this week.
  4. I've been reviewing on and off since March and have the Silver Reviewer medal in each category, I'm not a new user and I do pay attention to the reviews I do.
  5. It's pretty obvious that this was an accident.

This is very annoying. I'd just clicked on the Late Answer reviews when my friend messaged me on Skype. I focused the Skype window to reply then clicked back on Chrome to continue what I was doing. However in doing this I accidentally clicked on the No Action Needed button on this review of a post which begins with "I tryed your suggestions but I get this Error...". After reviewing over 250 Late Answers, I think it's pretty clear that this was an unintentional mistake on my part, however for this one failed review (and literally my first of the day) I'm now being told:

You have failed too many recent review audits – looks like you might need a break. Come back in 7 days to continue reviewing.

7 days for one failed audit?!

Last week I failed an audit and was told I could review once again after 24 hours. This was admittedly after I paid little attention to what I was reviewing (as I was dead tired and shouldn't have been reviewing anyway) and I accepted the consequences, however since then I've completed well over 250 audits without failing any (as far as I can remember, anyhow).

As mentioned above, I didn't mean to click the No Action Needed button, and as soon as I did I opened the question in a new tab to find the answer and flag it, but alas when I got there the question had already been deleted and I realised I'd failed a test.

I've been reviewing on and off since March, have silver badges in all 6 categories and almost have gold for Close Votes. I believe 7 days for one failed audit is completely unfair. Is there any way I can have this audit ban lifted or at least greatly reduced? I'm only human and this is the first Late Answer review I'd attempted today. Here is a screenshot of my Late Answer stats:

Screenshot of Late Answer Stats

Could a moderator please look into this for me? Based on my previous review history I'm sure it'll be clear that I'm an active reviewer and do pay attention to everything I review.


Side note: I've failed several Close Votes since I started reviewing which I believed were of questions which should be closed. If this counts towards any total, I'd kindly ask a moderator to look into my history and see that I've then gone on to vote to close those questions.

  • Are you sure this is your first failed review audit?
    – Walker
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:06
  • 11
    Silly mistakes happen when you aren't paying enough attention. That's exactly what the audits are there for. A week off from reviewing isn't that long, just wait it out. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:06
  • 1
    @PreciousTijesunimi Since my ban last week I'm pretty sure it is. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:06
  • 5
    Yeah, the ban last week may have something to do with this Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:07
  • @AmalMurali clicking back onto my browser simply to continue what I was doing isn't not paying attention. It's something I always do to retain focus on Chrome. I have a 1920x1080 monitor and have Chrome on the left and Skype on the right. To retain focus I simply move my cursor to the left of my screen and click, usually it doesn't matter where I click. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:07
  • And first you failed TODAY!?!? Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:08
  • @JamesDonnelly I think that is how the system is. When I got my first suspension and it expired. I came back and failed another review audit and I got suspended again.
    – Walker
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:08
  • @RichardTingle this is the 3rd or 4th review I've done today and the only one I failed. Also the only Late Answer review. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:10
  • 16
    @JamesDonnelly: Silly or not, it's still a mistake and this wasn't your first failed audit. It's just a week, focus on asking and answering... When the week's up, try to be a bit more careful when reviewing. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:11
  • 5
    Although your intentions are good, I believe there can't be exceptions, otherwise rules will lose their effect (I mean, if just 1 ban is indeed the rule to ban users from reviewing). Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:16
  • 1
    @AndreSilva again I'm pretty sure this is my first failed audit since my ban last week. Surely 1 failed audit can't lead to a further, much lengthier ban. Especially not when it was the very first review of that category I'd made all day. The review process is something which attracts me to SO, and being banned like this is really, really off putting. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:18
  • 4
    @James it's on purpose. One failed audit? OK, happens. Two? Something is fishy, you might get 24 hours ban. Three? As far as the system knows, you make lots of mistakes and need some time off. One week off reviews makes lots of sense. Also, moderator might be involved, i.e. he went over your review history and decided to cast manual ban. Can't know that for sure though. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:07
  • 2
    @James nope, as far as I know, currently passed audits have no weight whatsoever. You can start feature request asking to change this so they will have effect but don't expect it to be popular request unless you come up with some really exceptional reasons. (Personally I'm on the fence, since I'm not active in reviewing prefer not to take side) Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:13
  • 1
    Don't worry too much about 7 days. Next time you fail it will be 30. I'm mid way through my 30-day ban for failing what I thought was pretty ambiguous audit. Anyway, it will make me more cautious next time, I hope. Which is the whole point of audits.
    – Szymon
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:17
  • 6
    Worth to also link to the official implementation of that auto-expanding ban. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:20

2 Answers 2


I'm pretty sure this is my first failed audit since my ban last week

It's unfortunate that a complete accident caused you to fail an audit. However, this was not your first mistake (accidental or otherwise), hence the ban is longer. The bans help ensure people realise how important it is to be careful when performing reviews.

I imagine a moderator is unlikely to revoke your ban, despite the explanation of the accident. The rules have to be fairly applied and making exceptions for one individual would set a precedent. Of course, if you think the review itself was incorrect, this can be challenged on meta.

Spend the week enjoying other aspects of the site and you'll be back reviewing in no time.

  • 3
    If one failed review a week after a previous suspension is enough to trigger a further 7 day suspension, why wasn't the initial suspension 7 days to save me the hassle? I'm only human and mistakes like this do happen. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:29
  • 5
    @JamesDonnelly Well.. it seems sensible to me that the punishments for review failures should start light and get harsher. An immediate week ban would be tough for one audit review failure. For two failures within the space of a week, I think a longer ban is appropriate. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:34
  • 1
    Are you aware of how easy it is to fail review audits? Doing a search here on meta will reveal many links to failed audits which simply shouldn't have been failed. The system isn't perfect, unfortunately. Obviously in my case this is something I shouldn't have failed, however it's pretty unfair to penalize someone for making 1 mistake, especially someone who is a very active SO contributor who frequently reviews (and frequently passes test audits). Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:38
  • @JamesDonnelly: What exactly are you asking? Are you asking to get unbanned or suggesting a change to the current system? Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:44
  • @AmalMurali I'm asking to get either unbanned or have my ban greatly reduced. If this is part of the system where failing 1 audit after a suspension means a further much longer suspension then I'm also suggesting this is something which should be looked into. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:45
  • 4
    @JamesDonnelly: where failing 1 audit after a suspension -- this isn't your first failed audit. All your failed audits (in different queues) count towards the ban. That's how the review-system works, and I think it would be unfair to make an exception for a particular person :) Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:49
  • @AmalMurali I've passed at least 10 audit tests since my suspension was lifted, shouldn't these count towards something? Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:50
  • 4
    @JamesDonnelly: No, I don't think so. The point is that you shouldn't fail ANY review-audits. But we are humans, and we make mistakes. I think you should just wait it out :) (or wait for a moderator to respond) Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:53

I won't comment on whether or not I think your review history is good. I have my opinions, but they're not relevant here.

The bottom line is - we can't go making exceptions for everyone - the rules are meant to take into account the fact that we're only human and make mistakes occasionally.

If you feel that the rules don't take this into account to a sufficient extent, and believe that they need to be changed, you should submit a well-thought-out, justifiable (although, from what I've seen, I don't expect too many people to agree that it needs to be changed, but I could be wrong, or you could give a compelling enough argument to convince them).

Before you submit that feature request, keep in mind that most of the audit failures that have Meta discussion (at least those I've seen) are cases where the given question is borderline and, if this leads to a ban, the ban can be revoked, as the audit was flawed.

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